WASHINGTON (NEWS RELEASE) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) questioned U.S. Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Ajit Pai on broadband gaps in West Virginia when he testified in front of the Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee on the FY 2018 budget.
Senator Manchin secured a commitment to bring more broadband service to West Virginia and rural communities around the country. He asked Chairman Pai to work with Congress and the Appropriations committee in order to close the broadband coverage gaps in West Virginia and expand service to communities that still lack affordable, reliable access.
“Our efforts are aimed at closing the significant gap in mobile broadband coverage throughout West Virginia and in surrounding regions. We need to give people access to information in order to continue economic growth in these areas,” Senator Manchin said.
Earlier this month, Senator Manchin sponsored the Rural Broadband Deployment Streamlining Act that aims to expedite deployment of broadband access in rural areas and improve the data the FCC collects for the National Broadband Map. He also introduced legislation to ensure government funding for broadband deployment accurately targets rural communities in West Virginia, and, as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, will work to ensure that various federal grant programs that support broadband deployment are fully funded. Additionally, Senator Manchin is leading the effort to deliver $4.53 billion of federal support to expand mobile broadband access in rural America through Mobility Fund II.